John Rowan first started co-leading workshops in 1969 in a pioneering group called B Now. He co-led groups in 1971 at Centre 42 in Kensington, and then later in 1972 at the Kaleidoscope Centre in Swiss Cottage. During the period 1970-79 he studied with Bernard Gunther, Will Schutz, Elizabeth Mintz, Paul Lowe, Denny Yuson, John Adams, Al and Diane Pesso, James Elliott, Julian Silverman, John Pierrakos, Jay Stattman and others. In 1975 he learned co-counselling, practised it for five years, and later became a teacher of the Barefoot Psychoanalyst model. In 1978 he started his training with Bill Swartley in Primal Integration, which set the seal on his therapeutic initiation.
He helped to found, with Giora Doron in 1978, the Institute of Psychotherapy and Social Studies in Hampstead: when it became exclusively psychoanalytic he co-founded the Serpent Institute with Jocelyn Chaplin in 1989. This was a very exciting training centre in counselling and psychotherapy, based on a framework of Goddess spirituality, but it only lasted for four years. He then joined the Minster Centre, where he worked for ten years, training psychotherapists, leading seminars, experiential training groups and supervision groups.
In 2004 he left to work on his own Masterclasses and other workshops, as well as keeping up his private practice in North-East London.
Over the years he has given lectures and led workshops in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Italy, Lanzarote, Greece and Portugal, as well as many places within the UK. These have mostly been about work in the field of humanistic and transpersonal studies. He speaks French as well as English, and has led groups in Belgium, France and Switzerland.